KOHIMA, Feb 13 (NEPS): President of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) Dr Shurhozelie said AICC President Sonia Gandhi had underestimated the “intelligence” of the Naga people by claiming that “the Congress party gave the Article 371 (A) for the protection of the Naga culture.”
Talking to North East Press Service here Wednesday, the NPF president, who has not contested this time assembly elections in the State, expressed surprise as how AICC President with whose party heading UPA Government at the Center could utter such remarks. He, however, said the Congress people in Nagaland had fed AICC President with all the wrong points. And this could be seen when she came to Nagaland to address election rallies—one at Dimapur and the other at Mokokchung—on February 7.
Gandhi, while addressing election rally at Dimapur District Council Stadium (DDSC) at Dimapur on February 7, said the Congress had always been committed to preserving the Naga identity. “Congress party gave the Article 371 (A) for the protection of the Naga culture”, she said while adding that it was the Congress party which had introduced “Article 371 (A) that protects the Naga identity, culture, tradition and practices.”
“It was wrong on her part making such statement because she was here as a Congress President,” Dr Shurhozelie explained. She failed to understand that all these Article 371 (A), she was claiming as Congress’, was the outcome of the agreement between the then Naga People’s Convention (NPC) and the Government of India (GOI) and not with the Congress Party, he said.
“So it was wrong on her part,” he said. “She underestimated the intelligence of the Naga people. She was only talking those points briefed by the Congress people in Nagaland. “It was not from her hearts and thoughts,” the NPF chief claimed.
On the other hand, it was the NPF that had been working for the preservation of the Naga traditions, identities, custom, language, village institutions, etc., Dr Shurhozelie said. “We always support the bodies and NGOs that worked for the protection of the Naga identity,” he said and further added that they also always worked according to the interests and wishes of the Naga people.